Making Wishes Out of Dandelions

Making Wishes Out of Dandelions

 

“What are you wishing for?”

“I can’t tell you that, if I tell you that then it’ll never come true.”

The girl blew hard on the dandelion and watched as the tiny winged seeds flew off with the breeze.

“I think that’s ghastly. You’re decapitating flowers.”

“I’m not. I’m allowing them to grow.”

“Come here; let me put a French braid into your hair. Perhaps some of the seeds will land on your head and continue to grow there!”

The sister’s laughed.

Time moved slowly, but pleasantly so, and when the call came from their mother that they should return home, they rose with full dreams and empty stomachs, as they trekked back the short distance for their supper.

“Emily, your hair looks beautiful,” said their mother as they entered the kitchen. “Did you do that for her Lucy?”

The older girl nodded. Her own loose golden curls bobbing about her head. She took her place at the table and waited as her younger sister received the quick jab in her thigh that had become a necessity three years ago, when she had been just four years old.

After supper, when their father had returned home, they sat in their beds and listened as he read to them the same poem as every night:

“With the lights dimmed throughout the town,

and all the little ones put down

to dream the wishes they pray come true,

which wish means the most to you?”

As he kneeled beside each of their beds and tapped his cheek expectantly, they kissed it softly then whispered in his ear their wish for the day, before he left, taking the light with him.

 

 

A door slammed shut. A cold wind shook the shutters of an open window and rattled the hinges as the door attempted to break free from its frame and shatter against the wall.

Lucy awoke cold, with droplets of sweat covering her brow. She stayed still for a moment; her blood jolting through her veins and breaths coming in short sharp jabs.

“Emily?” she whispered into the darkness. “Emily, it’s all right. I think it was just the wind.”

Lucy tentatively reached her legs over the side of the bed and searched for her slippers with her feet. Slipping them on, she crept across the creaking floorboards and towards the window. Shutting it she turned to her sister’s bed, “See, there’s nothing to be frightened of.”

No reply came.

Suspicious of her younger sister’s usual games she edged closer and carefully, should she still be asleep, peeled back the cover that was masking a part of her face.

Whilst being uncovered, Emily’s arm dropped limply over the side of the bed, and as Lucy grasped it to put back beneath the covers, she found it cold.

She pressed her hand to her sister’s cheek and found that too was cold. Her fingers were shaking as they moved across to her sister’s lips, and waited for the comfort of air to come from her mouth. But none came.

Lucy fled from the room, fled screaming through the damp, silent house.

 

 

Everyone is dressed in black. Everyone wants to know how each other feels and if there’s anything they can do. A girl, with curly blonde hair sits alone. Her back to the coffin placed before the fire, with the picture of the young brunette smiling warmly on the mantelpiece.

Outside the rain pours and through its splashes Lucy can see the dandelions sway back and forth in the accompanying wind. She knocks her glass to the floor and it shatters into tiny segments causing guests to leap backwards to be safe from its shards.

Racing from the room she throws open the front door and sprints out into the garden. She drops to the ground, digging her nails into the earth she tears the dandelions out from the soil in great clumps and tosses them into the rain and the wind.

“You can’t make wishes out of dandelions!” she screams. “You stupid, stupid girl! They don’t listen to you! They can’t listen to you!”

Arms clasp around her own, locking them in place, and a voice whispers into her ear, “Her wish was to keep you safe, for you to never see sickness as she did. Someone was listening.”

 

 

 

 

Aaaah, finally one I can grab by the scruff of the full stops and give a good beating to! I don’t like this. At all. Alright, alright – the first bit isn’t completely awful, the little dad poem bit is pretty cute. Anyway, I remember writing this a few years ago and attempting to put forward a moving short story. It fell short. There was no punch at the end – in fact, the end doesn’t really make sense now I’m reading it with fresh eyes. I don’t recall the illness the younger sister had being contagious, so how could she have got her wish that her sister never see sickness as she did? It was far too soon (only a few weeks later) for any words like that to be offered. Don’t get me wrong, perhaps if I had used a more chilling or affective line this story could have come together in a better way.

Unfortunately, I just didn’t have the experience in writing short stories (or much of anything to completion) to do that. It’s always in completing things. I think that’s where we, as writers, really learn how to improve. This story is far too disjointed, we don’t really get chance to bond with the little girl so although we may care because…well, child – sick – we’re not evil, we don’t form a connection because we love the character, it’s because we’re not monsters (except you, back there. yeah, I spies ya). I think, also, it just isn’t my style of writing. I like to be silly and I’ve noticed far too often that when I play a game of serious-o-fiction I fail. It may be a skill I need to learn, or, it may simply be that if I want to be a writer I feel like I need to write a particular type of novel, even when I don’t enjoy writing it.

Shove it. I don’t hold other writers to those rules so I’m going to quit putting them in place for myself. Write, write, write. That’s all there is to it. Do you hear that, brain? Do you?! Ignorant swine.

8 thoughts on “Making Wishes Out of Dandelions”

  1. Oh, this was pretty beautiful, even if the end did fell short. And even though you say you think it is not your style of writing, I still found it very good. The words are a bless to read and the imagery of it is wonderful.
    (And I loved the poem, it is very cute indeed)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bia! I think it can just feel uncomfortable reading something that doesn’t seem to fit, but I guess that’s also a joy with writing. Doing something different here and there!

      Like

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